Robert Kubica knows that he's a lucky man: the rally accident he suffered shortly before the start of the 2011 F1 world championship season came close to costing him his right hand, or even his life. That he's back in action competing at a top level in the European Rally Championship for Citroen is as close to a genuine miracle as you get in this day and age.
But the 28-year-old Polish star admitted this week that "I miss racing in F1, yes," and that he was still hopeful his recovery would continue to the point where one day he might be back in the cockpit for a Grand Prix. Currently, the restricted movement of his arm and fingers is stopping that from happening in the foreseeable future.
"Driving F1 would not be such a big problem," he told BBC Sport
in an interview to be broadcast as part of their live coverage of qualifying from Canada on BBC1 from 5pm on Saturday afternoon, explaining that it was the cramped cockpit conditions that was the biggest obstacle for him.
"The problem in F1 is the space. Maybe one day if the FIA say the car has to be 10-15 cm wider, I can drive," he said - and it is clearly something he dearly wants to be able to do. "When you do everything you can to be an F1 driver and suddenly it stops, it's not painful but it's definitely not something you were looking for," he admitted.
But he was quick to add that "it is not that rally is second choice" and that he was truly grateful for the opportunity to be racing at a top level in any category, let alone such a high-profile series as the ERC.
"I am still lucky I am able to drive on a high level, although not any more in F1," he said. "I spent a hard time after the accident for many months ... You lie down in the hospital, you start missing it and then you realise how much maybe not love but affection you have for the sport.
"I paid quite a big price for a mistake but I could have paid a much higher price, that's for sure," he added. "It is unfortunately part of this sport that you have to accept. If you are driving you are not thinking about this. If you don't accept, you don't do it."
Kubica said that he still struggled with using his right hand in everyday situations, but was encouraged by the progress he'd seen in racing conditions both in simulator testing and race conditions. He just hoped that this continued until he was able to consider a return one day in the future.
"To be honest it really doesn't matter if it will take one month, one year or ten years - maybe one day I will have chance to drive F1 again," he said.